The Ruthless Elimination Of Hurry

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Un-hurry to the Pace of Jesus

The philosopher Dallas Willard once called hurry “the great enemy of spiritual life in our day,” and urged followers of Jesus to “ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

When I first came across Willard’s anti-hurry vision of life in Jesus’ kingdom, it struck a deep chord in my soul. And yet his culprit for the “great enemy of spiritual life” is not what I would expect. I live in one of the most secular, progressive cities in America, but if you were to ask me, what is the greatest challenge to your spiritual life in Portland? I’m not sure what I’d say.

How would you answer that question?

I bet very few of us would default to “hurry” as our answer.

And yet the more I think about it, the more I agree.

Corrie ten Boom once said that if the devil can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy.

Her logic is sound: both sin and busyness have the exact same effect—they cut off our connection to God, to other people, and even to our own soul.

Many of us are just too busy to live emotionally healthy and spiritually rich and vibrant lives.

Granted, there is a healthy kind of busyness where your life is full with things that matter, not wasted on empty leisure or trivial pursuits. By that definition, Jesus himself was busy.

The problem isn’t when you have a lot to do; it’s when you have too much to do, and the only way to keep the quota up is to hurry.

And, as we will explore over the next few days, hurry is incompatible with life in Jesus’ kingdom.

We simply cannot live with Jesus in his kingdom, and live a life of speed.

Exercise for the day: Slow down

What would it look like for you to slow down today?

As you move through your day, pay attention to your body, the sensations of hurry, stress, distraction, or irritation that you feel. Notice how they inhibit your ability to be present in love.

Pause 2-3 more times during this day to simply breathe, take in God’s loving presence, and practice gratitude.

Reading question: How did Jesus’ unhurried, present-to-the-moment nature increase his capacity meet the woman with internal bleeding in her need?